Category Archives: Uncategorized

Punctuation Saves Lives!!

Punctuation saves lives!I pledge never to create a kitten (or any other pet) BBQ recipe!  I think the director could have gone with a different story order here.  Don’t ya think?

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Fasnacht Day

Here in Central PA, today, the day before Ash Wednesday, is Fasnacht Day. Not Shrove Tuesday, not Fat Tuesday, not Mardi Gras. Fasnacht Day. It’s a day to indulge, but not the way it is done in New Orleans or other places. No, it’s doughnut day. Woo ha!

A Fasnacht is a fried doughnut consisting of lard, sugar, butter and flour. Want a heart attack? Eat one of these. I’ve lived here for 16 years and have eaten a total of one, because that was all I could stand. Just the thought of eating one makes my stomach shrivel. It’s one of those things that stays with you for days and feels like your carrying around a lump of coal in your stomach.

Traditionally, Fasnachts were made not to celebrate, but to rid the pantry of those items not allowed during Lent., i.e., the fat used to prepare so many of the Pennsylvania Dutch recipes. Sometimes, the doughnuts are made with potatoes. So many traditional PA Dutch recipes are made with potatoes, butter or lard and flour. Very starchy and somewhat bland (in my opinion).

One doesn’t have to go very far around here to find a Fasnacht. Churches, community centers, nursing homes, fire companies, just about every religious or civic organization is selling them today. I won’t be buying…

Very soon, another PA Dutch tradition will arrive in time for Easter-Peanut Butter Eggs. Watch for ’em!

Until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!

Pot Roast Marinated Steak

 Several years ago, I received honorable mention at Taste of Home for my Slow Cooked Rump Roast. I made a marinade out of the liquid base for the roast and used it recently with a couple of pounds of boneless toploin steaks. It worked really well and tasted fabulous!

The steaks were about 1/2 pound each and 1″ thick.  Before pouring the marinade over them, poke them all over with a fork.  The marinade will soak through.  The steaks will seal back up before you put them on the  grill, so you won’t lose any juices in the cooking process.

Marinade:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 cup oil (I have been using grapeseed oil-it doesn’t add any flavor)

1 large garlic clove, pressed

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp celery flakes

1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Blend all ingredients together and pour over the steaks.  I marinated them a little over an hour.

 While the steaks are waiting for their turn on the grill, prepare potatoes and onions.  The potatoes are simply poked with a fork and wrapped in heavy duty foil.  The onions receive a little more treatment.  Peel and core the onions.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with some fresh cracked black pepper and about a tsp or so of ground mustard.  A bit of onion along with a bite of the steak is sooo good!

The onions get wrapped like this: 

Time to start the grill.  Since I was cooking the potatoes and onions at the same level as the coals, I split the fire in half.  I put the potatoes on immediately.  They take the longest to cook.

Once the coals are ready, high heat,  add the onions and the grilling grate.  The steaks are seared, each side about 5 minutes, directly over the coals.  I moved them to the middle over the potatoes and onions. 

I added some oak pieces to each side and let them catch before putting the lid on.  The steaks came off the grill after 30 minutes and kept warm in the oven (wrap them up in foil on an ovenproof plate first!) set to 170 degrees F.  The potatoes and onions stayed on another 30 minutes.  Add some cooked carrots and celery if you want a real pot roast meal, but potatoes, onions and steaks was good for us! 

Until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!

(Cheater) Grilled Pork Tenderloin

I know you are wondering about (Cheater).  That’s what I call it when I buy “pre-” food.  You know, pre-cooked, pre-packaged, pre-marinated.  When I am in the mood for something really good, but I either don’t have the time, meat is still frozen, it’s last minute or I just don’t feel like doing all of the work, I put together what I call a Cheater menu.  I fell as if I am cheating when I buy “pre-” anything.  This particular time, it was mostly last minute as the weather was pretty good and we had not had anything grilled in several weeks.  It was a Sunday, so that also meant I had a bit more time to grill something before it became too dark. 

A pre-marinated Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin and a container of mashed sweet potatoes rounded out with a salad kit made our meal for that Sunday.  It was really nice to do some outdoor cooking. 

I prepared the grill with a split fire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it was hot (high heat), the tenderloin went on.  It was seared on ALL sides to lock in it’s own juices. 

 

 

Once it was seared, I moved the tenderloin to the center of the grill.

 

 

 

 

The lid went on and I left it alone for about 40 minutes.

The end result:

 

 

 

While the tenderloin was cooking, I lined a pan with foil.  The pork was wrapped in the foil as soon as I took it off of the grill. 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating a tent with the foil (overlapping the folds), I allowed the tenderloin to “rest”.  This lets the meat relax and all of the juices flow back to the center of the meat, making a nice moist piece of meat.  Cutting it too soon will dry it out.  10 minutes is plenty of rest time.

 

 

Slice the pork and serve. 

 

 

 

 

Teriyaki is sweet and sour; sweet potatoes are sweet.  We opened a bottle of Rosato to sip as we dined.  It went pretty well with this meal.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!

Finally….

….a fire in the fireplace!  On January 4th, we finally had our first indoor fire of the season.  Usually, by November, we have already had a couple of fires.  To celebrate, we roasted hot dogs and (pre-cooked) sausages.  For dessert, my daughter made a banana boat.  We are looking forward to many more evenings by the fireside.  But the way the weather has been, I’m wondering just how many we will have….Until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!

Snow, Snow, Snow

I wasn’t singing “Let it Snow” but someone must have. October 29 is yet another date in 2011 that will be remembered by those of us in the eastern part of the U.S. What a year for weather events! A tornado at the end of April, an earthquake in August, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee led to major flooding in September and now over 7″ of snow. And we still have 2 months of 2011 to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The heavy, wet snow left us with some downed limbs and a couple of trees that we will have to come down. Thanks to God, we did not have any limbs come down on our house. Most of the mess is in the woods behind the house. It will be a while before we can use our campfire pit. Some small trees and big limbs came down along the trail and at the pit. At least this gives us more wood to burn next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a first for us-a snow pumpkin!

Although no recipe today, until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!

Steak with Mustard Marinade

This is what was left of a couple of pounds of steaks I grilled recently.  And this girl from the Cowtown is not a big fan of steak!  The mustard marinade made this piece of beef so tender, it practically melted in your mouth.  It was utterly delicious and will be a repeat in this household!

I don’t remember what type of steak I had picked up, but just about any cut will do.  I do not recommend buying  the most expensive cut as it will be marinating for at least all day if not overnight. 

And now a public service announcement on steaks:  Porterhouse (aka, T-bone),  filet mignon (aka, tenderloin), rib-eye, KC strip (aka, NY strip-of course I am partial to calling it the KC strip, but around here it is the NY strip), sirloin, skirt/flank, flatiron and possibly tri-trip are the names you will see when you shop your local supermarket or butcher.  I usually purchase sirloin or flank steak (I probably grilled a sirloin for this recipe).  Alton Brown, in his very first episode of Good Eats, tackled this very subject, explaining beef and where each cut is found on the cow (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KrjeJDNKUA).  Very informative.  By the way, Alton Brown is my hero.  The way he presents cooking is as entertaining as it is  an educational experience.  If you have never watched the show,  I highly recommend watching it some time.

Back to the recipe.  The marinade is not completely my own.  Weber has a girl’s guide to grilling in which the basic marinade recipe is included.  I changed a couple of things to make it a little more my own.  I do that often.  I generally use recipes as a starting point, personalizing them to suit my tastes and those of my family.   The steak is 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

The marinade (makes 1 cup): 

6 tbsp packed brown sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (to juice a lemon, bring it to room temperature if stored in fridge.  Roll it on the counter to break up the pulp before slicing in half.  Then I squeeze it over my hand (to catch seeds) over a bowl).

1/4 cup spicy brown mustard

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

Vigorously whisk all together in a bowl.  Makes enough for 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of meat. 

Place meat in resealable plastic bag.  Pour marinade over.  Press air out of bag and seal.  Turn bag to be sure to cover all of the meat.  Put in fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight, turning over at least once.  Take out about 1/2 hour before putting on grill to bring to room temperature.  Discard the marinade.  You will grill this over direct, medium heat.  Conduct the hand test- it will be about 5 to 7 seconds over the coals for medium.  It will take 10-12 minutes or so for medium rare to medium doneness.  Turn once, using tongs to prevent puncturing the steak and releasing juices,  about halfway through cooking time.  I cooked a little bit longer, moving the steaks to the side for a short time of indirect cooking with the lid on.  You should have clear juices on the top of the steak; try to keep those juices as you transfer the steak to a plate.  Let rest for 3 or 4 minutes.  This allows the meat to “relax” and the juices in the center to distribute evenly throughout the steak.  Serve with potatoes (any way you like them-I’ll post how to grill potatoes some other time) and a green salad.  Enjoy!

Until next time, Grill, Baby, Grill!

Smokin’ Chick is On-line!

Outdoor cooking is the greatest!  I grill and cook over an open fire as often as I can.  I love the smoky flavor food absorbs when cooking with charcoal or firewood.  I also love the time I get to relax and enjoy the outdoors while the food cooks.  Sometimes it can be a lot of work, but to me it is well worth the effort! 

In this blog, I will share recipes, ideas and tips on making your outdoor cooking experience pleasurable and intensely delicious!